“Walking on Water”
Session Three|Saturday Evening
Men who lack purpose, challenge or accomplishment may become depressed. As the years pass, they may grieve over what they consider to be a “ruined life.” But there is nothing a person can change about the past. The past is gone, but a change in attitude can put that person’s feet on a different path. The question we need to answer tonight is: Where do I begin? And that answer is surprisingly simple: wherever my heart leads me. Jesus explains the process in a parable entitled “The Good Samaritan.” Let’s listen: Luke 10:25-37
Jesus told this parable to answer the question, “Who is my neighbor?” (v29) because He said that’s the person (or persons) God wants me to love like I love myself, meaning, help him or her the way I would want someone to help me. The parable is full of truth, but the point we need to see this evening is found in verse 33. It says the Samaritan came upon a wounded, neglected man “…and when he saw him, he felt compassion….” In other words, he helped the man because he felt concern for him. It was his heart that led him to act. It pressed him past all sorts of barriers to rescue someone he didn’t even know. When Jesus asked who it was in the parable that loved his neighbor as himself, those listening answered, “The one who showed mercy toward him” (v37). To which Jesus replied, “Go and do the same.”
So, the question before us is this: For whom do you and I feel such compassion? Where have we seen a genuine need that we could help? And then our heart will point the way. The first step out of the boat will be to decide to act on what our heart says.
I told you it was simple, but it’s not easy. No sooner do we identify our “neighbor” than all sorts of questions rise up in our mind, and argue that what our heart wants to do is impossible. Here are three questions you may have heard:
- The question of purity: Should I wait until I’m pure before I step out? No, the desperation of walking in faith will greatly help you to purify your life. Though there may be boundaries you must honor, God will still show you a “neighbor” in need.
- The question of wellness: Should I wait until I’m physically healthy and strong before I step out of the boat? What if I have allergiesor disabilities or addictions? No. Spiritual passivity is never a path to wellness. God is not limited by our physical restrictions. Some of the greatest ministers in the world have severe disabilities, but they refuse to let these stop them.
- The question of time: Should I wait until I have more time? No. We’ll never have more time than we do now. I realize that some people are extremely busy, but if God gives us compassion for a need, with prayerful prioritizing and scheduling, it can be done. Here’s a remarkable fact about walking in faith: It leaves us energized. We actually come away each time feeling refreshed, because there’s a joy in our hearts at having labored with God.
When we step out and let God put us in a situation that makes us desperately need His help:
• It drives us to seek Him with our whole heart: “You seek for Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13).
• We develop a regular prayer life, because we can’t survive without it. We have to hear from God.
• We cling to His promises because we need Him to help us. We can’t do this alone.
• We cleanse things out of our life because they hinder us; they get between us and God, and we need God more.
1) Who is your neighbor?
2) Try to describe what compassion for someone else feels like. Tell us about a time when you felt compassion for someone.
3) Have you heard one or more of the questions that argue against helping someone else? Pick one and tell us what it said to you.
4) Give an example of when you were a Good Samaritan and helped someone in need.
Pastor Steve Schell | NWC 2017 Men’s Retreat | “Walking on Water”